Revelstoke, BC Ham Radio and

Revelstoke Mountain is one of the arguably  most beautiful mountain ranges in Canada (sorry Banff) located in the Columbia Mountains region with an eye popping drive from Kelowna to the base camp. Revelstoke Mountain Resort boasts North America’s greatest vertical at 1,713 metres (5,620 ft).

Sledders love the mountains and the powder which we dont see at the local Blue Mountain hill.

Many hikers or skiers and snowboarders may not think radio comms and they should. This is a big mountain range and if you miss the lift down you may get stuck on the mountain overnight. This happens as many will seek powder off the standard runs and then realize that they are too exhausted to make the 1 hour journey to get to the last lift down. The lifts get you up only so high and then you must hike further up to get to the high points.Many users use a Motorola FRS or the BC Link Radio (its a FRS with a nice mic).

The Links Radio comes with multiple channels and although none of the channels have a specific use there are some general guidelines you may want to follow. Channel 1 will tend to have the most radio chatter on it if you are backcountry skiing around a resort so I would recommend a higher channel—the higher the better. Channel 20 with quiet code 22 is said to be used for emergencies but it is not monitored by any official rescue body or agency. Keep in mind that channels 8-14 are transmitting at 1/2 watt so they are best used to conserve power but these channels will also have a shorter transmission range. This is ideal for multi day ski tours where your group is all relatively close by. Channels 2-7 and 15-22 transmit at a full watt so the range will be increased but so will the demands on the battery.

Be sure that you are aware that the Backcountry Access BC Links Radio is for recreational use only in that it is not a UHF/VHF radio but rather a FRS/GMRS radio. It’s ideal for group communications for but not ideal for professional rescue scenarios where outside help is required, i.e. communication with helicopters, search and rescue, resort operations and backcountry lodges.




Local Repeaters are easy to access from the resort

 146.7200- 123.0 Revelstoke VA7AZG OPEN ON-AIR
  146.8400 131.8 Revelstoke, Triangle Mountain VE7RMT OPEN Unknown status





Ask the resort Ski Patrol for what channels they monitor and serious back country and hut to hut ramblers will need radios that can accommodate the ability to make contacts with these services.

These are long ski and hiking hills so FRS radios are mandatory to be in every bag as well as a first aid kit.


As you can see the use of Radio Equipment can and does save lives.

There is also a coordinated BC Logging Road Radio service as well that many outdoor enthusiast have in the Jeepo as they navigate across the wilds of BC (and Alberta)

Resource Road Radio Channel Map

The B.C. government recommends that those using mobile radios on provincial natural resource roads have the full bank of standard resource road radio channels, programmed in the standard format by commercial radio technicians. It is discouraged to have select channels programmed into mobile radios as channel assignment may change without notice.

In order to implement the standard bank of radio channels, specified areas of the B.C. landbase are mapped with resource road radio channel assignments. The channels have been distributed across the province to minimize radio interference. Learn how the radio channel assignment maps were developed:

These LADD Channels Common across Alberta & British Columbia and many highway truckers monitor channel one
154.10000  LADD 1
158.94000  LADD 2
154.32500   LADD 3
173.37000  LADD 4


Rare Heavy Anvil Key For Sale N1FN

Marshall is selling his Heavy Key. The original Heavy Key, and Ameco K-4 ball-bearing telegraph key bolted to the top of a 6 pound steel anvil.  Guaranteed not to slide around the desk no matter how hard you pound the brass. This is probably the only one of its kind in the entire world.





Burlington Spring Flea – What we miss?

Norm, Colin and the boys had their annual Spring Fleamarket and its had its best attendance ever. Buyers, Sellers and Socializers all had lots of fun with a big coffee social at the Tim Hortons after

Thanks to Mike VE3MKX for the photography work.



Book your tables for Milton


Ham Radio in Denver, CO – Morse Express and HRO

Mike’s (VE3MKX) friend Donald (VE4DS) had a interesting trip to Denver recently and made a few Ham Radio stops along the way.

I was just in Denver a few months ago and had a chance to cash my paycheque at HRO(KG0PP Jim is very knowledgable and helpful) and they also stock Electric Radio magazine. Its a small shop but packed to the ceiling with ham gear and several working stations to play with. I had a chance to make some contacts on their FTDx9000 off their beam as a portable Zero. I did not know that Morse Express was in the area (they are in Aurora which is a suburb nearby)  and they offer the best selection of keys anywhere, probably the only one. Take a look at the GHD Telegraph Keys from Japan.

The GT501 is my favourite and its cheap $500 us


So lets see what Donald saw at Morse Express and its museum of keys:


VE4DS did not SHARE what he ended up buying at the HRO store as he may have blown his allowance on code keys:



They have 4 complete demo stations all ready to go for your pleasure




The Decline of the Decline of Ham Radio?

While waiting in the doctor’s office today, I got to thinking about some of the issues that amateur radio is facing today. Here’s the list I came up with:

  • Lack of on-the-air activity
  • Low RAC membership
  • Lack of technical expertise
  • Aging of amateur radio operators
  • Amateur radio technology too advanced for most hams
  • Not enough time for the hobby
  • The high cost of amateur radio equipment
  • Too many modes to experiment with

How do we improve on this?

One example is our Ham Radio classes have focussed on practicality. Make a Jpole antenna and check tjhe SWR, using a multimeter to check voltage, continuity and ressitance. How to tune your antenna tuner…etc


D-Star continues its explosive growth

The D-Star mode continues its tradition of being the #1 Digital mode, the most reliable, and the most useful.

Icom has announced a new radio as a model below the hugely popular Icom 5100 and 7100 but its conversion from the yen puts it almost at the same price point as the 5100 but with several new features. Somehow they took some Icom 880H parts leftover and put them in a new box. But its still more fun than a 4550 and you dont have to worry about stealing the Motorola CPS code from the Bit Torrents.

Whats New?

Terminal Mode/Access Point


Kanji Display  for JDM of course

Mobile App Support MS-1A

Micro SD card that can be used to record the jammer voices on YYZ, TWR and YRA

Icom Canada and USA have made no announcements and maybe its for the Dayton (Xenia) Hamfest or its strictly Japanese Domestic Market (JDM)

Its just in time for the Salaryman Bonus which last year cleaned out every Icom 7300 and 7300S model from Rocket Radio to Hokaaido Radio Supply in JA land

I heard at one point the KX3/KX2 exports took a hit as HRO was shipping Icoms back to Japanese hams to accommodate the shortage

With a planned run of 2500 units in Japan thats about $1.2M us and another 2500 in the USA and Canada adds another $1.2M to the bottom line

OK Kenwood where the heck is your new DStar mobile?

Thanks to Akira-san


You can enjoy D – STAR ® ID-4100 new release.



Product name / type name 144/430 MHz Duo band digital transceiver / ID – 4100 (20 W), ID – 4100 D (50 W)
Suggested retail price \ 56,800 + tax (20 W type) / \ 59,800 + tax (50 W type)
Release date Release on March 15, 2017 (planned)
Scheduled to be sold annually 2,500 vehicles / year

Icom Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Osaka-shi Hirano Ward, President : Tsutomu Fukui) will release the mobile transceiver ID-4100 / ID-4100D compliant with D-STAR ® * 1 on March 15, 2017.

The ID – 4100, born of the concept “D – STAR ® is more fun and more comfortable”, corresponds to the terminal mode / access point mode * 2 for the first time in mobile devices . This feature, D-STAR ® D-STAR via the Internet from any location you do not have access to the repeater ®communication is possible.

With the adoption of a new user interface, ID-4100 has drastically improved both operability and visibility compared with conventional models. Equipped with a DR function that allows you to easily set up calls simply by specifying the repeater and other station. In addition, the full dot display that can display kanji clearly displays letters and icons, making it easy to read information with a large amount of information such as GPS.

In addition, the controller is compact with a width of 122.5 × height 40 × depth 29.7 mm (not including protrusions), it can be removed from the main body. By installing the main body in the empty space, you can effectively utilize the space in the radio room as well as in the car and a small space.

In addition, with cooperation with smart device * 3 , the range of pleasure is further broadened such as image transmission, linkage with map application, D – PRS operation, message transmission / reception, DR function setting.

Others, hands-free operation by Bluetooth ® * 4 , microSD card * 5 , mass storage of data such as GPS log , reception of various utility radio including VHF / UHF band air band, distance to the destination in real time Convenient functions such as built-in GPS receiver that can be grasped are packed. Of course, it also supports conventional analog FM communication.

ID-4100 is a familiar mobile transceiver that responds to the needs of a wide range of amateur radio operators, from beginners challenged for D-STAR ® operation to power users who want to relax and sit down.

【Main features】

  • Mobil’s first terminal mode / access point mode * 2 correspondence.
  • Easy call setting just specifying the repeater and other station by the DR function.
  • Kanji display is achieved by adopting full-dot display excellent in expression power.
  • The degree of freedom of installation increases with a removable controller.
  • Cooperation with smart devices * 3 enables image transmission and linking with map applications.
  • Convenient functions such as hands-free operation * 4 , built-in GPS receiver, microSD card * 5 , voice recording / log storage, reception of various utility radio including VHF / UHF band air band,
※ 1 … D – STAR ® is an amateur radio digital communication method recommended by JARL (Japan Amateur Radio Association).
※ 2 … An optional data communication cable <OPC-2350LU> and a special application (free download) are required.
※ 3 … Optional Bluetooth ® unitAnd a special application (free download) are necessary.
※Four… Optional Bluetooth ® unitAnd headsetIs required.
※Five… A microSD card (sold separately) is required.
D – STAR is a registered trademark of the Japan Amateur Radio Association. Icom Inc., ICOM, ICOM logo are registered trademarks of Icom corporation. The Bluetooth ® word mark and logo are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc., and Icom Inc. uses these marks based on the license.

Ethics and Operating Procedure

Now and then stuff happens and we get reminded about ethics and how hams can be have nicely. I am not going to repeat the DMR code of ethics for the VA3XPR machine and of course they are totally practical in nature.

John ON4UN who is the king of low band dxing bar none and was able to teach me the importance of grey line in working DX on 80m also with his friends developed a guide to assist hams in understanding some operating best practices on repeaters but also on HF

Grab your copy here

There has also been a lot of garbage also on HF (there are times when jammers pounce on the maritime net to hassle those seeking help) and I was saddened to hear a clown bashing away at the NCS on one of the morning nets. Obviously another drunken ham at 8am foaming at the mouth after double dosing his blood thinners and mood control drugs but he really took to very personal remarks. When life and death threats are made then increased action occurs. I understand later that several complaints were filed with the FCC along with beam bearings pointing to the city of where this loud mouth was living in. Now that the city is known more local RDFing can be done as well as marking up the database with which hams are registered in the area. If he is even a ham.

Thanks John for the great stuff on the Frequency Cops……and clarifying to Break into a contact is Break not Contact (sorry Jim you know who you are hihi)

Lets continue to make “The Old Man” himself, Hiram Percy Maxim, W1AW proud

In case you need a review of the xpr rpeater follow this link: